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'Too Much Negativity Rules News on India, China'


First published: October 13, 2016, 4:12 PM IST | Updated: October 13, 2016
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'Too Much Negativity Rules News on India, China'
Representative image (Reuters)

New Delhi: There is too much negativity in news put out by media outlets in India and China, which was adversely moulding perceptions among the people in the two countries.

This was felt by journalists and officials who met at the 3rd India-China Media Dialogue here on Thursday. Many of the journalists from China said that there was need to improve perceptions, and this could done through greater people-to-people contact.

Tuo Zhen, Vice-Minister, Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, said journalists could help foster better relations by portraying what was good and positive in the two major nations. He said the field of cooperation was very vast, including the culture and history of the two and this could be projected to improve understanding among each other.

Gao Anming, Deputy Editor of China Daily, said that although the two societies "were very different", there was need to focus on the strengths of India in IT, financial services and pharmaceuticals, and of China in infrastructure.

Veena Jain, Director-General of Doordarshan News, said there was definitely a need to improve perceptions. "We do not know each other", and much of the perception in the two countries, she felt, was skewed by "highly sensationalised news and analysis". She said understanding would improve between the two with enhanced exchange of content, technology and personnel.

Sheela Bhatt, senior journalist of Indian Express, said the delegation should understand that the media in India was largely private and did not follow the government line. She said the two countries were great because of their civilisations, but in a gathering of media personnel such as this, Pakistan remained the "elephant in the room".

She said Indians find it difficult to understand the stand taken on Masood Azhar by the government of China, which blocked the move by the United Nations to declare the head of Jaish-e-Mohammed a terrorist. She said that although there were calls in India to boycott Chinese goods, as long the country produced "good stuff at cheap prices" Indians would continue to buy them.

Cheng Guangzhong, Minister-Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in India, said there were bound to be differences among nations as there were even among siblings, but this did not mean the two could not cooperate in several areas. Many journalists felt that technology could be a strong bridge between the two countries with social media acting as a cohesive force. Suggestions were made to develop apps which could jointly disseminate news from both the countries for the benefit of its citizens.

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